Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger. Daft Punk's words mirror one of the things I love most about Computer Science— optimization.
When I competed in the USA Computing Olympiad, the biggest problem to overcome was always the dreaded "Time Limit Exceeded" error. The workaround for this came in the form of clever manipulation and data structures that could drastically speed up the program. Discovering new concepts was mind-blowing; I found myself solving problems in which I'd had no idea where to start before.
This need for speed also came up while I worked at PetCode. After attending numerous hackathons, I realized that my real-world development skills were lacking in favor of time-crunched spaghetti code. After receiving a position at a startup named PetCode as one of two mobile developers, I found that the project I'd have to work on was the first one for which I'd have to seriously consider best practices. I was overwhelmed by all the new concepts I had to learn, such as efficiently serving data from a cloud database and creating a robust login system. However, after poring over online articles and videos, my uncertainty turned into excitement as I started implementing new technologies and watched the app become more and more functional. Now, after building out most of the app's backend, I'm thrilled to say that it runs faster than any hackathon app I've created and is a month or two from launch.
Perhaps I love optimization not only due to the satisfaction of blazing speeds, but because at its core, optimization is about growth. It's about continuous improvement, about doing things better, faster, stronger each time. I want to optimize. I want to grow. I want to keep becoming a better version of myself so that I can take hold of my dreams and live out my purpose.